Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting books printed online and overseas

Another option for getting your book printed is checking out overseas printing companies and online printing services (which generally mean overseas printing for us here in Australia).

Overseas Printing Companies
Printing companies in places like China work the same way as going to a local printer but are sometimes cheaper, and although I've never tried myself, I've heard mixed reviews of them, with some people saying the outcome was fairly average, and others saying they got exactly what they wanted with no problems.

Online Printing Services
There are also many online printing websites, like Blurb or CreateSpace (owned by Amazon), that allow you to design your book within their software then print on demand. They also give you the option to sell through their websites.

But there are two things you do need to know before you go ahead with an overseas print, and it's got nothing to do with which printer or the quality. It's all about delivery.

If you order from another country you, and the printing company don't have any control of when you get your books, this includes any samples and the final print. You also have to take into account the possibility your book will be delayed in customs. If you are planning a launch for your book I suggest not organising the launch date until you have the books sitting in your livingroom/office ready to be sold.

The second thing you need to do is research import taxes. If you are receiving more than AU$1000 of goods (using the conversion rate on the date of export) you will need to pay duty on the book cost, and then GST on the 'VoTI' which is the price of the books, duty and postage. This sometimes makes the cost of your books the same as or more than having them printed locally.
You can find out more about import taxes, and example calculations, at: http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5549.asp#Calculating

The benefit of using an online printing service is you don't need to order hundreds or thousands at a time. You can order as little as one and as many as you would like. Most online printing services also have an online store or are connected to Amazon where you can list your book for sale and they look after the printing/distribution. Which means if people are ordering from a country other than Australia the postage is often quicker and cheaper for them as well.

If you see the benefits of printing your book both in Australia for the Australian market, and online for international orders then definitely do both!

*this article has affiliate links


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Have you tried printing overseas personally?

    We've actually found it to be much more reliable and higher quality than local printers in many western countries.

    1. I only have personally in small print runs, 1-5 copies from sites like Blurb etc. I have a few clients who have had larger quantities printed overseas and haven't we seen a difference in quality based on country as yet.

      We're lucky that we have two very good printers locally that we've been working with, and have been able to use them for some quick deadlines when needed.

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